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Letter from Liz and Katie, June 15, 2021

Hoorah, Katie and Amy are getting ordained at 5pm on June 26!!!!

On June 26, Katie will be ordained as a priest and Amy as a transitional deacon (and then within the next year Amy will be ordained again - next time as a priest). I cannot even begin to say how delighted I am that they are both being ordained. Incarnation is remarkably loved by God that we should have two such extraordinary pastors in our midst.

I've asked them both to tell us all a little piece of their journeys to this point - and also how we can pray for them and their families.

Over to Katie to tell her story (next week Amy will tell hers!).

Katie and her family at her ordination to the diaconate Oct 3, 2020

I remember the moment distinctly in September 2016 when I heard God speak to me and he invited me to feed his sheep. I was seated in church and during the Eucharist, I remember watching the priest as he raised the bread and wine and hearing the voice of God. It was so clear and compelling that I remember bursting into tears. And it is that shining moment and the prophetic words of other believers since that have sustained me in moments of doubt and discouragement over the past five years of formation.

I have not always wanted to be a pastor. I did not grow up in a church with female pastors and theological training for women wasn’t particularly encouraged. As a result, I poured any pastoral instincts I might have had in my twenties into my work as a conflict specialist. And yet, outside of work, I was reading almost nothing but theology, while I was reconstructing my childhood faith into something more durable within a new Christian tradition – Anglicanism.

By this point, as I remember hearing in a song lyric, “I had been seized by the power of a great affection” for God. And so when Brendan, my oldest son was born, I decided to take a break from the work that had come to define my identity to discern where God might be leading me.

But then, before long, I had two more children and my days were filled mostly with caregiving. But those were not fallow years. Rather, those years of caring for infants and young children felt like spiritual boot camp, as I struggled and learned, with lots of trials and errors, to build a domestic church for my family. And I can see now, how God is continually using my experiences as a parent to nurture the life of the church.

And in fact, one of my first experiences of teaching was when I was invited to lead a women’s retreat session on “Noisy Prayer.” I think it was then I began to get the sense that my desire to serve the church might be pointing to ordained ministry. And as I pondered this question, more opportunities to preach, teach and lead emerged.

Longing for the Sun of Justice, Artist: © Annette Esser, Oil and Gold on Canvas, 40x50cm (2017). Painted by a Hildegard of Bingen scholar to honor women priests and the call for justice in the church. Notice the hands are different colors.

And so, after a few months of fence-sitting after God spoke to me at church, I finally mustered the courage to ask for a discernment committee. God spoke clearly through that group of fellow believers and so in Summer 2017, I began my studies at Nashotah House which wrapped up in December 2020.

I am so delighted to be giving my life to Christ and his church. There is truly nothing that gives me more joy than walking alongside other believers as they are reconciled to God and each other. Please pray for Amy and me as we prepare for our ordination day.




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